Each morning on my drive home from taking my teens to school, I catch myself looking up as I round the first bend in the road to catch a glimpse of something I think perhaps God has placed there just for me. (Or maybe for any driver blessed with ADHD and a tendency to look everywhere but the road.) I look for a little sign of hope that makes me smile every time I see it: a bird nest, held in the tapering fingers of an old oak’s outstretched arms, suspended precariously over a two-lane road of pitted asphalt.
Out on a limb (as I too, sometimes feel), the nest has been my faithful reminder that God is with me during these cold months when I have felt so battered by the emotional turmoil of special needs parenting. Despite all our effort, my husband and I get confused and discouraged, at times, as we try to chart a path through this twisting, winding journey of transition to adulthood for our teenage sons on the spectrum, while also juggling the needs of their younger sister.
Yet each morning’s drive, I still dare to hope that it will be there, this determined little bundle of twigs, so small against the expanse of the pale winter sky, resilient in our record-breaking winds of 60-below-zero, and swaying mere feet above the cars and trucks that whiz by below.
Like my own family’s dangers that lately feel too close for comfort (my sons on a collision course with a future for which none of us are ready or know how to be; battling depression’s lies that would have me throw my hands up in despair, or navigating all the insanity (aka: biological warfare) that comes with perimenopause), God keeps showing up to remind me that I am not alone. We are not alone.
He reminds me each time I see that tiny teacup of woven twigs. He is holding us. When a text message chimes to tell me a friend loves me and is praying for our family. He is loving us. When a kind pastor calls just to talk and say God brought me to mind. He is encouraging us. When we hear about yet another possible resource or treatment. He is equipping us. And when He leads me to scripture that gives me just enough hope to keep me going another day. He is leading us toward home.
One step at a time. Each gift, God’s manna. His own provision and grace to get me through one more day. This day. There will be enough for the next. Sometimes, during my darker days, that is all I can grasp. Sometimes, waiting for the darkness to lift, this long and winding pilgrimage seems hard and unending. He gives glimpses of hope, daily gifts and reminders —like a bird’s nest in a treacherous winter —that we, too, are being held in His hands.
“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your alter, O, Lord…What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.” (Psalm 84: 3, 5)
Kelli Ra Anderson
Question: Are you walking through a Valley of Weeping? Look for the manna and when you find it, may it be a reminder that God is with you. You are not journeying alone.
Latest posts by Kelli Ra Anderson (see all)
- Calming our Anxiety in Special Needs Parenting - August 24, 2015
- Victory in the Seeming Loss of Special Needs Advocacy - June 22, 2015
- Retreating in God’s Hands: respite for the special needs parent - May 25, 2015